A person’s health is not only determined by genetics, their level of physical activity or how many fruits and vegetables they consume, but also underlying factors like poverty, education and housing. In North Carolina, we use tier county designations provided by the North Carolina Department of Commerce to signify the economic health of a community. The 40 most economically disadvantaged counties are Tier 1, the next 40 are Tier 2, and the wealthiest counties in our state are labeled as Tier 3.
The Healthy North Carolina 2020 Quarterly Update – Spring 2013 reveals significant health disparities by geographic location. More specifically, individuals in Tier 3 counties were found to engage in healthier behaviors and experience better overall health than those in Tier 2 and Tier 1 counties, while those in Tier 2 counties experienced better health than those in Tier 1. To read the report, please click here.
You have an opportunity to make a difference. I currently serve on the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Rural Health Task Force which is designed to identify effective, long-lasting solutions to poor health in rural communities. Recommendations from this Task Force will be shared with community members later this year. If you wish to participate in these community meetings and make your voice heard, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Willona Stallings, PHW Program Coordinator
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches. PHW aims to connect health as a faith issue. Please visit our website to sign your personal pledge to be healthier, and to find out about grant opportunities for places of worship in NC.